Ideas into Action: RISE Program Catalyzing Social Innovation for Impact

07 December 2023

The Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs (RISE) Programme has embarked on its fourth cycle, dedicated to supporting social business ideas that aim to bring positive change not only to local communities but also across the entire Western Balkan region. Emphasizing collaboration, idea exchange, and peer-to-peer education, the RISE Programme is rooted in the belief that youth are inherently eager to learn, grow, and effect change collectively for the betterment of their communities.

Commencing in November, BGF kicked off the Ideation Phase training sessions. These sessions, spanning four months, are designed to empower project leaders to develop innovative solutions to address challenges within their communities. The overarching goal is to enable these leaders to become catalysts for change on a regional scale. The Ideation Phase provides a platform for project leaders to devise solutions with significant social and environmental impact, fostering their ability to champion and implement these solutions.

The initial training topic, 'Onboarding' delved into the essence of social entrepreneurship. Project leaders were exposed to an exploration of the myths and facts surrounding social entrepreneurship, a step-by-step guide on establishing a firm, insights on locating resources and structural support, and a comparative analysis of classical economy versus social entrepreneurship. To enhance engagement, BGF incorporated a workshop titled "My Project and Me" within the training session. This workshop delved into personalized approaches to entrepreneurial uncertainties, the unique strengths each project leader brings to their initiative, the supportive networks contributing to idea strengthening, and the formulation of an action plan for each project.

Moving forward, BGF is set to conduct the second training session, focusing on Market Study. This session will provide comprehensive guidance on conducting market research, encompassing two key areas: documentary research involving literature review, competitive dynamics, and analysis of complex and evolving ecosystems, and field research, incorporating qualitative studies.

The RISE Programme, through its strategic training approach, aims to equip project leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to make a meaningful impact in their communities and beyond. For more information on the programme, visit the official website: 

This programme is co-funded by the Agence Française de Développement, the European Union; Regional Youth Cooperation Office and the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ). RISE project is developed in partnership with the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), PULSE (Groupe SOS), South East European Youth Network (SEEYN), the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ), ARNO, Balkan Green Foundation, Nesto vise, Smart Kolektiv, IEC Tehnopolis and Yunus Social Business Balkans.